Ashes Of Naperville Woman's Dad Thrown In Garbage: Lawsuit

NAPERVILLE, IL — After Joel D. Ford died on Jan. 2, 2018. of pancreatic cancer, his four children waited for his cremated remains to be shipped from a Georgia funeral home to their respective homes in Naperville, Illinois; Indiana and Texas. Now, a Naperville woman, Trayce Reyes-Ford, and her siblings have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that one urn containing their father’s remains was damaged during shipping, opened, mistaken for “kitchenware” and then thrown into the garbage.

Siblings Reyes-Ford, Reginald Ford Joel L. Ford, and Tyna Kirk are suing UPS, D&S Associated Delivery Service and Progressive Funeral Home of Columbus, Georgia, for damages, stating they failed to follow federal guidelines for the shipping of cremated remains.

After Ford’s death, his daughter Tyna picked out four urns for his remains, which the suit says Progressive Funeral Home took to D&S for shipping. D&S placed the urns in cardboard boxes and then inside a second cardboard box and labeled the package “fragile,” according to the claim.

The lawsuit states that USPS has specific protocol for shipping cremated remains and is the “only shipper that allows shipments of cremated remains.” Such shipments must be marked with an official “Cremated Remains” label, something D&S neglected to do, Ford’s family contends.

After receiving Ford’s remains, D&S shipped the package to UPS, which shipped the separate urns to Illinois, Texas and Indiana.

On Jan. 23, the package en route to Indiana was “damaged in transit” per a UPS receipt, the suit states. The claim alleges that UPS then “threw the box and its contents — Joel D. Ford’s cremated remains — in the garbage.”

On Jan. 26, UPS and D&S contacted Tyna Kirk and informed her the package had been lost.

“Plaintiffs later learned that one of the four boxes containing Joel D. Ford’s remains was damaged during shipping and had been opened. It was reported that the contents were thought to be kitchenware and thrown in the trash,” the claim contends.

The Ford family is represented by John Risvold of Naperville’s Collins Law Firm.